How to Make Espagnole Sauce

The Espagnole Sauce (pronounced: ehs/pah/nyohl) is a build up of the first two sauces in our “Mother Sauces” series, the Bechamel and the Veloute.

Espagnole Sauce is a classic French sauce, usually made from brown stock, traditional mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots), tomato, and thickened with a roux. It’s one of the five “Mother Sauces” of classic cooking. It acts as a base for many other variations of sauces.

This Espagnole Sauce recipe requires a few steps to complete, but the time invested will be worth the rich flavors that develop in this delicious sauce!

Ingredients you will need:

Instruction Video

Directions for Espagnole Sauce

Roast the mirepoix  (onions, celery, carrots) over medium heat in the bottom of a heavy bottom sauce pot with butter, stirring often.  Cook until the mirepoix turns a nice golden brown color.

Add the tomato puree and continue to roast for 2-3 minutes. 

Roast mirepoix.

Add the fresh herbs. Gently stir; you will remove the herbs later, so you don’t want to break them up too much.

In another pan, heat up the beef stock.

Sprinkle in the flour and cook until it is well mixed and becomes darker in color (about 5 minutes). This dark roux will be used a thickening agent for the Espagnole Sauce. 

Add flour to mirepoix.

Add the beef stock.

Bring to a simmer on low for about 2 hours, letting the sauce reduce to about 1 quart. If you need to, you can add more cooking stock.

Add roasted veal and sachet

Season it with some salt and pepper. Strain the sauce so it has a smooth texture. 

Now it’s time to serve and enjoy your sauce!

Espagnole completed.

This homemade Espagnole Sauce would be great on top of steak or other red meat. You can also add some wine and make a delicious Marsala sauce.

Remember, just like any of the other sauces, after you become more familiar with it, you can add different ingredients to make the sauce more personalized to your liking.

Fun Espagnole Sauce Facts:

  • An Espagnole sauce is known for being the thickest and beefiest sauce of the mother sauces.
  • Espagnole word pronunciation: ehs/pah/nyohl
  • “Espagnole” is french for “Spanish.” Supposedly this sauce was inspired by some Spanish cooks that cooked for French royalty.

Try mastering these other “Mother Sauce” recipes!

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Espagnole Sauce Video Transcript:

Hello, welcome back to Rada’s Test Kitchen. My name’s Blake and today we’re going to be working on our third of five mother sauces called espagnole. This is a dark roux, dark stock, beefier sauce. It’s a little more complex than other sauces we’ve done, the béchamel and veloute. Same concept with the flour and butter. We’re going to sauté up some vegetables, we have some tomato products. We’re going to sauté, create the roux around it, add the dark stock and let it reduce around it. First we’re going to sauté up some vegetables.

Cook down our vegetables a little bit. Add our tomato puree. Add our flour. Add another bit of butter here. We have our first two recipes where they call for a light roux, but this is more of a brown roux, so you want to cook it to the point where the butter and flour carmelize a little bit and add some depth and richness to your final product. I’m going to add some bayleaf and thyme to let that extract the flavor of it. Not going to try to bump it too much because I’m going to take those back out when we’re done with the overall product.

A lot of this brown, orangish color we’re getting is from the tomato puree that you can kind of see where it was and where it is. It was a lot lighter. Picking stuff off the sides of the pan and bringing that out to the middle. The purpose of the dark roux is so that it doesn’t really lighten the color of the beef stock or whatever stock you’re using. Dark veal. I’m cooking this over a medium heat right now. I don’t want to go too hot or it will burn the flour. Just keep an eye on it and keep it stirring so it cooks evenly.

I’m going to pour this beef stock over it and stir it. Bring that to a boil, let that simmer. Season it with some salt and pepper. So we’re going to take this sauce and strain it. That was our espagnole sauce. The third of five sauces. This is our brown sauce, so it would go on top of steaks. You could make marsala sauce with some added wine. This one is one of my favorites, it’s got the best flavor. But each one of them have their special reason, so that’s why we’re teaching all of them. Thanks for watching.

End of Video Transcript